Savings Rates, Baby Kickbacks, and Brief Preggo Stuff

Hello everyone!  Sorry I’ve been out of sight, but please know you have not been out of mind!  Since there never seems to be enough time these days with me moving slower, sleeping more, and being engrossed in “The Goldfinch” (so beautifully written!) lately, when I do get my blog time in, I’d much rather catch up with your lives!  🙂

I’m grateful to report I got to see Flash this past week at my ultrasound – little man has got some long legs (definitely from B’s side!) and he looked like he was smiling at us with his little sweetheart chin.  I’m not really keen on posting the pics, but if anyone wants to see, just let me know.  I can’t stop looking at them and it makes my heart so happy.  I’m also starting to feel his movements grow stronger every day – they feel like gas bubbles after you drink soda, and whenever I move (or have foods with Tapatio or Sriracha on them), little man gets a little busy, especially at night.  I hope he becomes an early bird eventually like us! 😉

Another favorite of mine lately (and by favorite, I mean not favorite at all), have been the combo-packs of preggo symptoms, from weird dreams to being hot all the time to dizziness to leg cramps.  My favorite so far was dreaming about Scarlett Johannson’s lips (in my defense, I think I saw the “Lucy” poster just before I went to bed), but they were super-sized and I was jumping on them like a fluffy bed… only to be awoken by a gnarly Charlie horse on my left calf as I’m lying in sheets drenched in my own sweat.  Awesome. 

Finance-wise, I’m happy to report that I was updating my finance spreadsheets (still an Excel gal), and so far, my savings rate has averaged at 63% so far this year!  I say my rate as we’re still transitioning into combined finances due to some other stuff going on (I’d say halfway there), but I was pretty stoked about that rate.  Granted, I’m counting all my pre-taxed accounts and wedding gift funds, but I’m counting the latter since last year I was paying off debt as well as accruing wedding costs expenses.  

I know this will drop down next year as we face the sticker shock of day care (going rate is +$400/week for infant care, yikes), but if I could keep up with this rate through the end of the year (or even increase it), I would be all sorts of stoked.  Thankfully, being the last of a group of 10 or so friends with similar body types and who have given birth to sons, I’ve received a plethora of hand-me-down maternity clothes, infant clothes, bassinet, swings, and all sorts of other great stuff.  I’m loving all this free baby kickbacks, and also incredibly grateful that my insurance is covering all of my hospital bills through birth.

Anyway, that’s mostly what’s been going on in my corner of the world.  I’d love to know, though, for those that have put their little ones through day care, did you ever have to decide between home day cares versus company day cares?  The cost differences are substantial, but I wonder, too, about the differences with development/learning, safety, nutrition, etc.  Any advice is greatly appreciated! 🙂

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31 thoughts on “Savings Rates, Baby Kickbacks, and Brief Preggo Stuff

  1. I remember all the fun symptoms you experience when you are pregnant 🙂 Hope all is well with you, and that’s awesome that you are getting a bunch of hand-me-downs for all the baby stuff that you need! Baby stuff is so expensive. XO!!

    • Thank you so much, Mackenzie! For sure, I’m loving all the hand me downs since it sounds like little ones burn through clothes fairly quickly the first year! I hope you’re loving Portland, love! xo

  2. Aw, so cute you saw him smiling at the ultrasound. It’s awesome you’ve been able to keep your savings rate that high (and get hand-me-downs)! I love your little updates =). I’m glad everything has been going well for the most part. Leg cramps are the worst, especially when you wake up with one! I hope your symptoms start to lessen.

    • Thank you, EM!! It was definitely amazing to see little man, though I’m grateful now I can feel his slight movements every now and then! Leg cramps are for sure the worst, especially when you just have to let it take its course before it gets better!

  3. I had used both home daycares and daycare centres at different times. The idea of a home-like daycare is appealing, but since there is usually just one caregiver whose own children are also present, there are a lot of issues. All parents need to give extra attention and “perks” to their own children and they can’t always be saved for after hours. So you can expect differential treatment. And since your child is literally in someone’s home and sharing life with someone’s family, you will soon see big differences in how you view child-rearing, even if the home is licensed and following all the standards. So I would say it’s all about compatibility, observation and reference checks! At the daycare centres, the centre is licensed, the teachers are trained, and the treatment of all the kids is equitable. Just because they are a business (as is a home daycare) doesn’t mean they are heartless with the children. Quite the contrary, I found they struck a good balance between affectionate caring and professionalism. So my child was at a home daycare to age 4, then switched to a centre the year before starting school.

    • Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful tips!! I do lean more towards a corporate day care, mostly for the development and safety issues (since some need a code in order to enter), but didn’t even think about at-home day cares might be favoring their own loved one if they’re also caring for them. Thanks for bringing up that point!

  4. I love that you got to see the little guy! I loved every ultrasound I got of my son and one of the last ones looks so much like he did when he was born. We sent my son to a corporate daycare rather than a home based one. I lived next to a home based daycare provider and I knew she was just a glorified holding pen. What was nice about the corporate one was that my son was familiar with the environment, yet as he progressed, he got to move around in rooms and he was exposed to more opportunities. I am personally a HUGE daycare fan. My son got sick the first two years he was there, but now he is never sick, and it’s better for kids to get sick when they are young and don’t have school work to miss out on then later on. He is also very socialized because of the experience. Yes there was biting and fights, but daycares understand that these are all developmental actions. Finally, because he went to daycare all day, when he started kindergarten the schedule was easy for him and he did not have transition issues.

    • That’s definitely what I’m leaning towards, and you’ve just made me lean even more towards it!! I agree that I don’t really want a baby-sitter/nanny situation, but more of a learning environment. That’s a great point, too, about the socialization and immunity points. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Shannon, it’s definitely helped me in the decision process!

  5. That dream you had was something else! What an amazing savings rate Anna and even when Flash starts charging you big money for his presence on Earth you’ll still be ahead of the vast majority in terms of surplus! I don’t have personal experience with the daycare/homecare situation but from what close friends did, many went the route of a formal daycare and felt that their child really benefited from the level of structure/education/socialization etc.. that it provided. Mind you, you’ve got to research the crap out of the ones you’re considering.

    • Aww, thank you so much, Kassandra!! I’m definitely hoping to build it up as much as possible before Flash arrives, so I just have to continue to push forth. Thanks for your input, as well, with the daycare – I agree about wanting a certain level of structure and development/education, and I’m thinking that might be a better bet for corporate daycares, as well. I agree, too, about researching different ones – even though most are in the same price range, going to visit the different ones definitely show you a different story that not all of them are alike!

  6. That was certainly an interesting dream! Glad to hear everything is progressing well and the little man sounds so cute already! Awesome job with the savings rate, that’s pretty kickass 😀

  7. Hmmm, I must be pregnant too because I have weird dreams, leg cramps, and wake up in a pool of sweat…oh, must be pre-menopause…groovy! 😦 Congrats on the savings!!! I’m wishing I would have saved more earlier this year so I can stop worrying right now about not working much. Fingers crossed it gets busier! And send me your ultrasound pic! -Love Auntie Tonya…I mean I already went wine tasting with the little guy.

    • Awww, no bueno!! 😦 I hope work picks up for you, Tonya!! And that some of the symptoms clear up, as well – I agree it’s definitely not fun!

  8. Wow, 63% savings rate is awesome! As for daycare, it’s tough here in NYC area since it’s expensive and many big daycares don’t seem to take babies under a year or two. My mom is helping out with watching our son at a very reduced rate! (I put money in dependent care savings which is a big tax savings). However, we’re hoping to put him in a daycare for a few days because my mom is older and our son is getting to be a handful. He’s already broke a lamp and tried to wiggle his way out of his stroller and jump out (apparently he was so excited to see the park, he couldn’t wait to get there).

    • Thank you, Andrew!! That’s so awesome that your mom is able to help out, though I certainly understand about switching it some days if little man is becoming a wiggle worm. I grew up in a multigenerational household and loved it, but unfortunately our parents live out of state. I’m envious your son gets in time with grandma!!

      • I grew up in a multigenerational household too. I think it was great as a kid, but I’m not sure I can do it as an adult =) Actually, I might post about multigenerational households…let’s just say that if I lived in one as an adult, it would be similar to “Everybody Loves Raymond”

  9. Babies wake up and party when you rest, and sleep when you’re active. This totally effs them up for the first month when they come out and they are awake when you’re sleepy and vice versa.

    Soo.. unless you plan on sleeping during the day and waking up at night to do stuff, the baby won’t be an early bird.. YET!

    Although Baby Bun right now is waking up regularly at 4 a.m. – 6 a.m. depending on how he slept the night / day before, so… yeah, early bird baby? Don’t worry. You will get what you wish for and in spades.

    For daycare, we are planning on private daycare but if we can find a $7/day daycare spot we’re taking it and never letting it go. Otherwise, we’ll just pay for it, get subsidized, and take turns watching him when we’re not on contract.

    They say that at-home or timeshare nannies are just as costly as daycare so you might want to see if you can find other families who have older children who can team up with your baby and do a house/nanny share.

    • I can’t even imagine what it will be like once baby comes out – we’ll probably do the same where I’ll be up the first couple of months since I’m on mat leave, though will definitely have to start transitioning the third month to get prepared for when I do return. $7/day would be awesome – right now it’s about $9/day (including commute time), but it totally adds up over time. Do most nannies also have a development/education component? I guess that’s something to look up – we’d want that but perhaps I’m being a bit presumptuous that they wouldn’t be interactive with the baby.

  10. I couldn’t stop looking at my ring when I first got engaged. Imagine looking at a picture of your baby for the first time still in your belly. Exciting times~ I hope everything goes well and smoothly with your pregnancy and your baby will be gorgeous~ Look at you and you hubby.
    Your savings rate is admirable. I’ll get there one day. Not for a long time, but I’m hopeful.
    Have a great weekend.

    • Aww, thank you so much, Michelle, and great hearing from you! Haha, I felt the same way about the ring, and agree about the baby, as well! It’s kinda cool to feel his subtle movements, too. Thank you so much for your very kind compliment, though the same could be said for you and your hubs, my dear! 🙂 I hope you’re doing well xo

  11. I’m so excited that you got to see him! That and the movements probably make it way more real (spoken from a non-mother who hasn’t experienced the side effects of pregnancy).

    That’s a kickass savings rate, Anna. It’s so awesome how you’ve turned it all around from debt repayment to money hoarding 😉

    • Thank you, Alicia! It’s definitely been a treat to start feeling his moves grow stronger every day, can’t wait to meet him! I’m just hoping to keep saving away, especially when baby expenses start popping up! Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

  12. I remember those awful leg cramps. I had them so often that as soon as they started I would yell ‘cramp’ and my husband shot up and started massaging my legs with me. Funny to think back on now. My daughter interviewed at both agency and home day cares. I don’t know what it’s like there, but if you are thinking of an agency you need to get your name on the list right away. Eventually they opted for a home day care that was recommended by others they know and not too far from where they live. I think if it had not been recommended, they would have gone with the commercial daycare, even though they are much more expensive. If you are looking at a home day, I would recommend really trying to find out how it really is. Of course, when you go for an interview everything should look pretty positive. Even references should be always good too. I dunno, call me suspicious, but I was always on the lookout for caregivers that just stuck the kids in front of the TV without enough outside time and craft time.

    • That’s definitely one of the reasons why I’m skeptical with at home day care – more chance of the TV being on (I worked at one before eons ago, and though she put the TV on only at nap time, there’s still that chance). Thank you so much for your helpful advice – I think that’s a great idea about testing out daycares, as well. I’m hoping to do that the month prior to me returning to work, though having no experience with all of this, I’m not sure I’ll have the energy! I’m going to try best I can, though!

  13. Anna, your posts always make me giggle. 🙂 So excited for you guys. It’s funny how all of the pain in the tail stuff about pregnancy is overshadowed by the sheer joy and excitement, isn’t it?? Please send me a pic of Flash: I’d love to see if you get a chance. You should probably be prepared that there is a chance you might want to quit working after you have him: I’ve got lots of friends who were certain they’d return to their careers after childbirth only to find out they wanted to be home…….. 🙂

  14. For daycares, look for NAEYC certifications. That shouldn’t be the end of your search, but I wouldn’t look at one without it. They have to meet certain minimum standards, including EC developmental benchmarks.

  15. Thanks for the update, Anna! I’ve never been so lucky as to dream about Scarlett’s lips…but maybe someday. 🙂 And way to rock that 63% savings rate. That’s incredible stuff, and you’re setting yourself up nicely for the slightly costlier times with the baby.

  16. No daycare experience because I don’t have little ones yet, but I’d suspect you can find good care in both places as long as you do good due diligence and get lots of input from other parents. My old boss used to have a son in daycare and the daycare had cameras so she could “tune in” and see what he was doing during the day on the web. He was school-age, I’m not sure if they do that for newborns, but it was pretty neat.

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